1944-U_S_ troops almost buried by parcels do their best to handle that year_s holiday mail-A_2008-51The USPS is in the process of closing down our mail processing facility in Asheville.

It’s a cost saving measure.

Even after a big money renovation of the facility in Asheville, it is more effective to have our mail processed in Greenville, SC.


When we heard the news of the closing, we were surprised.  It didn’t make a lot of sense…but “ours is not to wonder why, ours is but to do or….”.  I guess.

Then we started thinking about it.  “This could work…”, we thought.  “Instead of getting our mail last, and having our outgoing mail picked up first because of the way the delivery schedule is set up…maybe now we’ll be first in line and have a better shot at getting our mail on time so we can get it ready to take to the street.”

Well….it turns out that they process it in Greenville…but then they drive it up to Asheville to distribute it.

So instead of being last in line to get our mail…now we’re last in line to get our mail but we get it an hour later because of the new route it takes before it gets to us.

Unless it’s a Wednesday….or a Thursday…or a Friday….or a Saturday.  Then it’s probably going to be two hours later because the truck that is supposed to get to us at 8:30 gets to us at 9:30.

The driver brings a late slip…and he gets paid for being held up at the distribution center so he doesn’t mind being late...he’s making more money…but it makes things interesting when he’s two hours later than when he originally brought us our mail…but still picks up the mail at the same time each evening.

Some of the schedule has changed…some stays the same.

This brings me to something called “evaluated time”.

At the Post Office, we have something called evaluated time.  It’s determined by a “mail count”.  We have periods when each piece of mail is counted, the numbers are put through a bunch of complicated computations, our mileage is considered…and then they come up with a figure that they use to evalutate how much we should be paid.

Of course, because there are a lot of variables in both mail volume and the experience of the person doing the counting (our past couple of counts were done by very competent…very nice… but completely inexperienced people…often it was the first time they’d ever done a count), the number they come up with can be questionable.

I got back to the PO yesterday, and our OIC (Officer in Charge…like a substitute Postmaster.  That’s what we’ve had for the last couple of years) told me that I’d gone over on my evaluated time.

We had the typical heavy volume Monday…so instead of using the allotted 7.40 hours I’m evaluated at, I used 7.86 hours.

So I got a red flag for the week.

That irritated me.  It kind of warped my “go along to get along” mindset.

We get paid the same every day. Some drivers drive like bats out of Hades to get paid for 9 hours and work 7 hours.  I tend to mosey…I want my Jeep to last a while. No matter how fast we go, we get paid the same evaluated amount.  Going over that evaluated amount still counts (somewhere) for some reason,though. I guess they don’t want to be reminded that sometimes the numbers don’t always mean much.

The only thing this really does is make me think that instead of signing in when I get to the office, I’m going to start signing in when I actually get my mail.  I’m going to charge them for any extra trips.  I’m going to be a lot more conscious of what I’m getting out of the deal and learn to protect myself.

What do they call this kind of post? A rant?

We don’t get overtime….so that can’t be the issue.  I wonder what it really is?

But if they’re going to cut my legs out from under me, the least I can do is let them see the stumps.

Did I mention that I am profoundly and sincerely thankful for my job? I like what I do…it’s just that some of the stuff that happens in a big organization that might be running a little scared is kind of weird.

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